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News, Reviews & Features
  • Review: Inheritance digs up the past, but you'll wish it remained buried

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 19th October 2020

    I was reading some comments under the Lily James gossip stuff recently, and someone said they couldn't tell the difference between James, Emma Roberts and Lily Allen. Lily Allen? But she's a singer, not an actress. And then I realised the person was an American and only knew her from films, not Top of the Pops. And then it got me thinking about initial impressions of people, and how I could work that into this review, before realising it's actually Lily Collins in the film and not Lily James. So my point is there are too many women.

  • Review: The Babysitter: Killer Queen is a sequel that's stuck in the past

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 27th September 2020

    I wasn't going to review The Babysitter: Killer Queen because it is a horribly bad film. But then I remembered that the world is in this sorry state because people aren't doing much to help each other out right now, and the film contains a good reason to do just that, even though it wasn't the intention of the filmmakers. So please consider this a PSA.

  • Review: The Peanut Butter Falcon is more than a silly nammm peanut butter

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 10th September 2020

    What cultural works wouldn't be improved with the addition of wrestling? Imagine John David Washington's Tenet protagonist performing a reverse suplex... in reverse! Or Queequeg acting as a hype man for Captain Ahab in Moby Dick. Or the Little Women charging towards the ring one by one in a furious royal rumble. Bargain Hunt cage match. See? There's a whole genre there waiting to be discovered. This is going somewhere.

  • Review: Host is a techno-horror that dials up the scares

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 19th August 2020

    31st October 1992. I am 11 years old and about to become part of a very special club: children who were accidentally allowed to stay up late for BBC's Ghostwatch. For the uninitiated; Ghostwatch was billed as a fun live spook hunt from a haunted council house, which spiralled out of control as the pipe-clanging spirit of a disfigured paedophile assaulted Saturday morning kids TV hosts Sarah Greene and Craig Charles, apparently killing a number of the crew, before beaming itself into a television studio and possessing the UK's common sense uncle, Michael Parkinson. It was terrifying. The ensuing furore in schools and media ensured the broadcast was shelved for years. But the damage was done, scars were formed - and the next Ghostwatch has been sought out ever since.

  • Encounter at Midpoint: just what the h(olod)eck is going on in Picard?

    TV Feature | Luke Whiston | 6th March 2020

    I'm finding Picard a very difficult show to place - part mawkish reverence, part campy nostalgia, quite a lot of waiting for that classic TNG vibe to kick in. Will it ever settle on a tone? I'm not the hugest Trekkie but back in the day The Next Generation was perfectly timed for getting in from school, doing your homework, then sticking on Sky One to have an adventure with Jean-Luc and the crew of the Enterprise D, hopefully learning something about the nature of humanity (or at the very least a holodeck episode where they're all wearing period costumes). So there's a lot of fondness there. And sure all my friends were out smoking and necking, but who are they going to call on to arbitrate grave matters of existentialism? Probably not me as I've fallen out of contact with many of them in the 20 years since. I wonder if they've ever looked me up and seen I write about Star Trek on the internet now? Oh God, I've wasted my life!

  • Review: Bait is tighter than a duck's arse

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 24th February 2020

    My partner made me turn Bait off after two minutes because she said it was "pretentious," so we watched Ru Paul's Drag Race instead. My idiot friends spent an hour trying to come up with wanking jokes in our WhatsApp group because Mark Kermode said the film was a "masterpiece" (master + bait + combined mental age of 12), with predictably disappointing results. But like my mum said when I came home from riding my bike one day and she told me the Under 9s coach had rung to say the rules had changed and teams only fielded ten players now so I shouldn't show up for practice anymore: "It's their loss, Luke, you're brilliant at football."

  • Review: Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker is good, but conflicted

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 19th December 2019

    There’s no denying that Star Wars: The Last Jedi created a massive disturbance in the force, as if a million voices suddenly cried out in entitled outrage and were suddenly empowered to act like total asshats on Twitter. All Rian Johnson really did was evolve his film beyond the tropes, cliches and traditions that have become the hallmarks of every episode in the saga until that point. Bury the past - or literally burn it down - and move on. Forget the old and make way for the new, otherwise how can there be any progress? After all, "we are," muses Yoda, "what they grow beyond". But if that proved a divisive move, then what JJ Abrams does with this final instalment is equally controversial: ignore that new approach entirely and return to the safe familiarity of the old template. There’s important plot development, of course, but it is housed within a return to the brand adherence and fan service that The Force Awakens originally offered. Skywalker rises, but Episode 9 of 9 simply stays on target.

  • The crushingly inevitable Star Wars group chat email thing: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

    Movie Feature | Ali Gray, Matthew Looker, Rebecca Suter, Luke Whiston | 28th November 2019

    It’s a year with a 2 in it so you know what that means: it’s time to talk about Star Wars again! With Episode IX of the Skywalker Saga on the horizon, we thought it was the perfect time to engage in the ‘group chat’ style communal analysis that has served us so well in the past (that one guy on Twitter seems to like it, and heck, it’s easier than actually writing a proper feature). Over ten movies we will engage in the kind of witty banter and strict discipline that saw us complete 65% of our Marvel rewatch. Now, let’s... ‘Make it so!’.

  • Review: Terminator: Dark Fate can't bear to suffer an Arnie-less future

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 2nd November 2019

    It's hard out there for the Terminators. You hate to see it. For three whole sequels - Rise of the Machines, Salvation and Genisys - the all-powerful killer robots from the future have suffered embarrassing losses in increasingly shitty movies, to the point where you wonder why they keep trying to enslave us at all. The Terminators, bless their hearts, must have done some serious soul searching, because they're back for more punishment, perhaps inspired by their motto (I am imagining "Absolutely do not stop ever until they are dead" written in "live laugh love" style wall-print cursive) and with a brand new plucky underdog status that it only earned through repeated failure. In a victory of sorts, Dark Fate manages to scrape an above average grade by clinging closely to the Terminator tropes with the kind of white-knuckled death grip that only three failed sequels can inspire.

  • Review: Yesterday: I saw a film today, oh boy

    Movie Review | Ed Williamson | 30th June 2019

    A common pub argument I have with a friend of mine is that the Beatles weren't as influential as everyone makes out. I tell him there weren't bands before the Beatles; just solo singers and backing groups. I tell him that artists didn't write their own songs before the Beatles. I tell him that the album wasn't an artistic endeavour before the Beatles; just a commercial ruse to package up a hit single or two with some filler and sell them again. He still won't have it. Obviously he is an idiot, but I hope to Christ he never sees Yesterday, because it'll only strengthen his wildly incorrect view. While it does have at its heart the idea that this was the most special collection of songs ever written, it overlooks that what the boys gave us all wasn't just the songs: it was far more than that.